Once again, thanks to the great Bruce Ciskie for organizing this. Here's what the final poll ended up looking like.
94X WCHA PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
1. Minnesota (24 first place votes) … 11.92 poll average
2. North Dakota (1) … 10.76
3. Denver … 9.92
4. Wisconsin … 7.8
5. Minnesota Duluth … 6.88
6. St. Cloud State … 6.84
7. Colorado College … 6.08
8. Nebraska Omaha … 5.48
9. Michigan Tech … 5.2
10. Minnesota State … 3.6
11. Bemidji State … 2.48
12. Alaska Anchorage … 1.04
Twenty-four people picked Minnesota to win the league. One person probably did not want to hear North Dakota fans whine to them about lack respect, and for that, I'm eternally understand. In what I consider a shocking, shocking surprise, somebody picked Alaska-Anchorage to finish in 11th, instead of last. This person is either the world's biggest optimist, or got confused by all the upcoming conference-switching and thought that team from Mighty Ducks that had to forfeit due to the measles was playing in the WCHA this year.
PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Nick Bjugstad, forward, Minnesota (16 votes)
Others receiving more than one vote: Erik Haula, forward, Minnesota (4); Mark Zengerle, forward, Wisconsin (3)
Yeah, no arguments there.
PRESEASON ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Rocco Grimaldi, forward, North Dakota (8 1/2 votes)
Others receiving more than one vote: Nic Kerdiles, forward, Wisconsin (5); Jordan Schmaltz, defenseman, North Dakota
(2 1/2); Brady Skjei, defenseman, Minnesota (2); Andy Welinski, defenseman, Minnesota Duluth (2)
I was the only one to pick Zane Gothberg, but to be fair, my ballot was turned in before we all got the image of him passed out face down in his own vomit. Rocco Grimaldi wins this two years in a row. I know he's technically eligible, but seriously, if life begins at conception, surely your hockey career has begun if you've Tebowed during a game.
PRESEASON ALL-WCHA TEAM
Nick Bjugstad, Minnesota (20 votes); Mark Zengerle, Wisconsin (17); Ben Hanowski, St. Cloud State (8)
Others receiving more than one vote: Danny Kristo, North Dakota (7); Erik Haula, Minnesota (6); Rylan Schwartz,
Colorado College (5); Corban Knight, North Dakota (3)
Joey LaLeggia, Denver (20 votes); Nick Jensen, St. Cloud State (9)
Others receiving more than one vote: Nate Schmidt, Minnesota (7); Wade Bergman, Minnesota Duluth (3)
Sam Brittain, Denver and Josh Thorimbert, Colorado College (7 1/2 votes each)
Others receiving more than one vote: Juho Olkinuora, Denver (3), Joel Rumpel, Wisconsin (2)
Forwards were pretty straight forward, though I guess I tend to favor Corban Knight a little more than the voting public. I was one of five people not to vote for Joey LaLeggia. Kevin Pates and somebody else joined me in voting for Wade Bergman.
The following media members took part in the 94X Preseason Media Poll.
David Ahlers, KKAR Radio/University of Nebraska-Omaha; Stephen Anderson, Daily Mining Gazette; Andy Baggot,
Wisconsin State Journal; Tyler Buckentine, USCHO.com; Mike Chambers, Denver Post; Bruce Ciskie, KZIO Radio/Bulldog Radio Network; Chris Dilks, Western College Hockey; Shane Frederick, Mankato Free Press; John Gilbert, WCHA.com; Kurt Haider, KENI Radio; Mick Hatten, St. Cloud Times; Dirk Hembroff, WKMJ Radio; Jack Hittinger, Bemidji Pioneer; Ken Landau, 103.9 FM The Eagle Radio; Don Lyons, Leighton Broadcasting/St. Cloud; Todd Milewski, USCHO.com; Dan Myers,Minnesota Hockey Magazine; Jess Myers, 1500ESPN.com; Joe Paisley, Colorado Springs/Colorado College; Kevin Pates,Duluth News Tribune; Chris Peters, United States of Hockey; Brian Posick, WIBA Radio/Badger Radio Network; Chad Purcell, Omaha World Herald; Brad Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald; Jay Stickney, 102.3 ESPN Radio.